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Subject: Is there a support group for game collectors? rss

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Matt Cross
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This post is from my blog http://metroburbgamers.blogspot.com

Recently I have been thinking about my gaming addiction... or more specifically my game ACQUISITION addiction. I have always been a completist and a collector. When I was a kid it was G.I. Joe or Transformers or Baseball Cards. When I got older it was classic console video games, after that it was modern video games.

I'm also a shopper and a researcher. What I mean is that a ton of my leisure time is spent reading about things that can be bought, I don't know what it is about product information that is so attractive to me but I literally cannot get enough of reviews and information about things. When I read a series of very positive reviews of anything I immediately become sensitive to price and availability. Will this thing that I might want at some point be available when I want it or will it be scare by then. Oh and let me tell you there is nothing that disturbs my psyche more than something I might have wanted selling out and becoming an eBay item demanding huge prices. That triggers some sort of chemical response in my brain that forces me to either buy right away or track the item down at all costs after the fact. And what about sales and such? Sometimes I know I don't need or want or even have time to use the thing I'm buying but I just know I'm seeing it for the lowest price it will ever be offered for. In this case I often cannot resist a purchase. Wait until your birthday or Christmas my family will say. But the thought of someone spending $15 more on something I want later on when it is no longer on sale or god forbid not being able to get it at all at that point is too much mental weight for me to bear. So I just go ahead and buy.

I know this all sounds rather sick and it is. My house is literally FULL of nice things that I have never used or used only once because the sad thing is I have a job and two kids so my wide array of interests in various hobbies far outstrips my ability to spend time on them. Of all the things that interest me, movies, video games, board games, photography, playing music, learning about technology, reading, etc, the only ones I manage to spend any time on are board games, photography, and learning about technology. That means any money spent on even the best video game EVER or the best book EVER is likely a waste of money and space.

Even with board games, which are by far my most highly utilized hobby, my rate of acquisition seems to have risen proportionally to my participation in the hobby. By this I mean the more I play the more I buy. My utilization rate of my games does not go up.

At this point including all of the games my kids have and all of the games from my childhood (standard Monopoly fair) I have bordering on 500 boardgames in my collection. This takes up a fair bit of space as you can imagine and imported boardgames of the type I enjoy are not cheap even online. An average game costs anywhere between $25 and $55 at internet discounts of 30% or more. Shipping is $10 per order unless you order $100 at a time at which point it usually becomes free.

The net effect of this is that I place $100 game orders far too frequently. And my lack of patience often means that I will order games that I only marginally want in order to bring my total up to $100. I could just order less frequently and only get games I absolutely want to reach $100 but then the games might not be on sale or might be sold out which would leave me waiting for a second print run which may never come. This actually happens with board games far more frequently than any other hobby I have. So when I see a game I want I have to get it fast. And when I have to get it fast I either have to eat the shipping cost or get to that $100 mark.

I love games though. I love the look and feel of the pieces. Import games are made really well with nice cards and boards and beautiful artwork. These are not like mass market games in the U.S. I also love to read rules. There is rarely a free moment in my life when I am not reading rules for a game I either have or think I would like to get. I also love the social aspect of gaming. Gaming is the first adult hobby I have had were I did not feel the need to make eating and drinking the focus of the night in order to have a good social time with friends. I think this is the reason I love board games so much.

Another aspect of my personality is that I'm ridiculous about the condition of my games. There are some out of print games that I never get to the table for fear that they will be damaged. This is a subject for another post but probably unsurprising given what I've said so far.

Recently I have wanted to buy a few games and have resisted. The first is Tales of the Arabian Nights, a paragraph based story adventure game like a choose your own adventure book in game form. This is a recent reprint of a game from the 80's which intrigues me. Another is Diamond's Club from Ruediger Dorn, one of my favorite designers. This one I have avoided so far becuase it is expensive and it is similar to another Dorn game Goa which I already own.

Ystari is a company that makes many games I like and there are only three games from that company that I do not own. This alone has made me want to acquire Amyitis, Sylla, and Metropolys, all of which I am luke-warm on as games.

I was fascinated with Combat Commander: Europe, a light war game from GMT. This game is a whopping $50 online and $80 retail. I have yet to play it but I still regularly consider getting its brothers Combat Commander: Mediterranean and Combat Commander: Pacific. Again scarcity is a concern for me here.

I have also bought into both Memoir 44 and Commands and Colors: Ancients series and have played Memoir 44 only twice but I regularly consider getting all of the expansions for these games. Last spring I bought the campaign book for Memoir and that precipitated me buying the terrain pack, winter/desert board, and eastern front expansions all of which remain unplayed.

So how is one with a personality like me to be so in love with this hobby and still act in a healthy and responsible way about collecting... This is the problem and I'm still not sure what the answer is. I just know I love board games. And as long as it is not a hardship for my family I can't seem to convince myself that enough is enough.

If anyone else feels this way and has tips for controlling this behavior post them. Every little bit helps!
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Hammock Backpacker
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You sound a bit sad. I'll bet buying a few more games would cheer you up.



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Michael T. Probst
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Could it happen that you'll have a little brother (or older) in germany?
Readig your thread is like looking into a mirror!

How could anybody resist if you'll find this wonderful bargain, a copy of a nearly unused game, you're looking for since..., and now just away a few more clicks, than it will be your's forever...shake

Of coure you have to add some additional pieces instead of paying some shipping, no never...! It would be ridiculous if you would find nothing to reach the $100 dollar limit to save shipping and handling for your next order! devil

Some kind of illness, maybe, but it seems more simple, you're a collector!

Nothing bad about how long you're family could being a part or, their could be easily live with (and accept) your "hobby".

Think about the wonderful children games. I love children games. (And the purchase was only for my daughter... ähm.. and this small piece of Twilight Imperium 3rd. for me, because I could save shipping..)

It's started with music CD's and comics, later the video game era, SEGA Genesis (SEGA MegaDrive - german) started everything, Super Nintendo, Atari Jaguar, 3DO, Sony Playstation, SEGA 32x, SEGA CD, SEGA Saturn, SEGA Dreamcast, Microsoft X-Box... (I was not start counting with Commodore VC20 - VC64 - ...)
Now, I reduced (limited) my comics and CD's, changed my DVD's to series only (most time) and landed in the middle of the boardgame world. Now since 15 -20 years? (Including a hugh tabletop era.)
DVD I will look with my wife, Boardgames I play with my daughter or my weekly game group.

The key is to find a limitation for yourself.

I'll find nothing bad, spending around $100-150 monthly for "a" hobby!

Some people driving motorbike, having a boat or travel many weekends in their free time, I enjoy and relax reading a new game manual and hoping to bring this on the table with my friends. (Not easy if you collect more games you could "easily" play and you're friend purchasing sometimes games too!)

The way is "you should enjoy a game with your're friends or you're family more than you're being satisfied with the purchase only".
Try it and nothing will be wrong.

Maybe the only help/support you need is a regulary gaming group.



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Matt Cross
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Well I don't _feel_ sad ;-) It's just that everyone thinks I'm nuts.

And you are of course completely right! Game Surplus here I come!
 
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Patiently waiting for the zombie apocalypse...
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You might not want to ask these guys for advice...

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/427433

 
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Sithrak - The god who hates you unconditionally
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What is money worth if you can't/don't spend it on something? As long as you don't neglect your duties to your family and yourself, who cares?
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Matt Cross
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I don't know where people with 3500 games store them but I certainly don't have room for that...

As for the whole "it's only money" argument, I think that's totally true but I feel a large mental weight from the disparity between my rate of game acquisition and the number of games I play in any given year. I typically game one night a week for 4 or 5 hours.
 
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Chris Ferejohn
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Perhaps try imposing some rules/goals for yourself vis a vis playing a certain number of unplayed games before you buy any more. This could channel your obsessive collector tendancies into collecting *plays* of games, which is free (with the games you already have).

Do you log plays? I found once I started logging, I could get some of that "collecting" satisfaction by looking back at the games I'd logged over the last month/year.

Or just start smoking crack.
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Lexingtonian
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Set a budget and stick to it. Deciding which games are worthy of buying becomes a game in itself.
 
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Romian Tuesta-Vilca
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Establish a new rule: From now one, whenever you buy a new game you have to mutilate one of your fingers or toes. Let's see if you will buy any new games.
 
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Matt Cross
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Wow... um. Wow...
 
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Colin Kameoka
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Hang out with boardgamers who own more games? There are a few people on BGG with over 1000 games.

I can certainly understand I went through the same thing with Magic the Gathering a long time ago. I generally have the rule about boardgames that I buy them with the intention to play them until they wear out.

At some point you might have to decide to focus more on less hobbies. I know the too many hobby problem all too well. I have to constantly remind myself to focus more and buy "marginal" stuff less.

Airing this out was probably the best thing you could have done.


 
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Matt Cross
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It is true that if my group bought more games or if I had access to more games before buying them I could probably avoid more purchases.
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Garcian Smith
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The key is limits.

This relates to something we learned in class about Durkheim. He says that a lot of suffering and anomie in society is due to the idea of unlimited wants by people. If people would use society and find limits, they would be content.

For me though, I guess I have this trouble to. However, I find myself to be very picky. I get very specific with my tastes which leads me to avoid 90% of games out there.
 
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Michael Ziegler
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I take it that you are not married? Engaging in such an addiction under the office of marriage usually results in divorce. Same thing goes for bibliomanics and people in the antique business. Wives just can't stand the dust, clutter, etc. Even if you prove you are making a living conducting such business, you will be involved in fight after fight over things you have bought.
 
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Michael T. Probst
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Trelane wrote:
I take it that you are not married? Engaging in such an addiction under the office of marriage usually results in divorce. Same thing goes for bibliomanics and people in the antique business. Wives just can't stand the dust, clutter, etc. Even if you prove you are making a living conducting such business, you will be involved in fight after fight over things you have bought.


No, he has a family! And I'm marriaged and have a family too and still my gaming hobby!

Okay, unfortunately my wife is not being a part of my hobby (till now) and sometimes I'm envious about geeks which informs they playing alot with their girlfriends and wifes, but I'm still happy that she is "only" accepting my hobby!

I build her a house, but the agreement was that i got my own hobby room.
Others having a bar, a party room or a garage or a motorcycle or a boat..., I have a gaming room.

And of course, some limitation on purchases if you're not alone, if you have a family and a house you have to take care, should be self-evident!

So if you take care about a budget, for your hobby, there should be no problem. Being a collector too.






 
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Scott Bartel
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I am so there with you! Almost to a tee. It's really strange. In fact, when you mentioned Combat Commander, all I could do was shake my head and smile. I recently got CC:E in a trade, and after reading the rules I know I'm going to like. So... with GMT's big sale going on right now... I ordered everything else. I don't feel that bad yet, because I got everything (except the P500 stuff) for 50% off.

If you're interested:
http://www.gmtgames.com/news.aspx?showarticle=134
devil
 
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